Community support for a local paramedic dealing with a cancer diagnosis surpassed its goal in a few short weeks.
A GoFundMe page created for Todd Roes and his family has raised some $29,000 since it was first posted.
Roes was diagnosed with cancer in his lungs and liver at the beginning of the month. The source of the cancer is still undetermined, and a treatment plan for him is in the works.
The news has been tough on him and his family, he said.
“I’m am not sure I have done anything as difficult in my life as to tell my four beautiful children I have cancer,” Roes said. “To see their hearts break and the agony my beautiful wife is going through, and not being able to do a thing about it.”
Though he acknowledges that he has a rough road ahead of him, Roes said that he remains optimistic.
“In these moments we often have various responses. Sadness, confusion, pain, heart break; all of which I am experiencing, but still there is hope,” he said.
The Roes family say that they are very grateful for all the community has done for them so far.
“I am overwhelmed with the love and support that has been shown by family, friends, and the larger community,” said Roes.
The idea for the fundraiser came from Roes’ lifelong friend Dan Bishop and his wife Melissa Bishop. After receiving the news of Roes’ illness, the couple said they had to find a way to help. The original goal of $1,000 was intended to help the Roes family with childcare costs. The fundraiser has so far surpassed that goal by some $30,000.
“We are really amazed at the response. It became evident within hours that it wasn’t about the goal we had set, but actually about their friends, family, coworkers, church family, neighbours, and community members really wanting to show and express their love and support to the Roes family. It has been inspiring to witness and we believe it’s just one way that God is meeting their needs,” said Bishop.
So far, 247 community members have made donations.
The Roes family said they are extremely appreciative of all the support they have received so far and that they feel blessed.
“When God gives, he not only responds to our immediate needs, but well beyond these needs. For this, and for the people who have chosen to love us, I am truly grateful. There aren’t many words I can say other than thank you,” Roes added.
The family also wanted to bring attention to a 10-year-old boy also from Elmira named Zack Forwell, who has also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to split between three local family’s who are coping with a cancer diagnosis.
His fundraiser can be found on GoFundMe.